That whole five stages of grief thing isn’t what you to expect. They don’t line up in a nice orderly fashion, obeying the rules. They’re petulant children fighting to take over your mind at any given time. But then come the moments when when you feel like you just reached a new plateau. It’s not that things get back to normal, it’s that you come to accept a new normal.
If you’ve ever had the winter blues, you know that dull greyness that seems to cover everything. It’s not that anything’s overly bad, but it doesn’t seem like much is good either. I love winter – I’ve always been a night owl, and cozying up in the studio while snow is falling is a wonderful time. So while I don’t have the winter blues, my writing so far this month has brought out a lot of that greyness that’s been pervasive for the last several months as I deal with the death of my brother.
Thursday’s song, The Music I Want You to Hear, is about the part of losing someone that I have the most trouble with: the little things. It’s that brief flash of a moment where your mind forgets everything and snaps back to an earlier time when nothing is different.
More than a few times over the past year, I’ve thought something, or written something, or taken a picture that I want to share with Bryan. I’m already reaching for my phone when everything comes crashing back. Those moments are the hardest of all.
Those diminish over time, and your core will start coming back to the surface. For all my gruff and cynical snark, I am inherently an optimist. There are all sorts of little moments where I rediscover the wonder of something familiar, or find new treasure in an unexpected place.
Yesterday’s song, Butter and Blackberry Jam, seems to be one of those moments. It certainly wasn’t a conscious thing. I didn’t sit down, feeling fine, deciding to write some weird, upbeat funk fusion thing. Based on the day’s mood, it was likely to be something sad or angsty, maybe something minor and quiet. When my hands landed on the keyboard, though, something much brighter peeked through the clouds.
Listening to it today, I can hear a different place, and that is a comforting thought. I’m grateful to have music as both an outlet, when it’s me writing, and a therapy, when it’s me listening.